Do you have a lot of stress in your life? Ever feel anxious? Do your worries and anxieties become a bit of a downer, maybe even giving you feelings of depression, and then you might even use food to attempt to cope with those feelings?

Well I shared with you yesterday that I was going to start another experiment on myself and let me tell you, I’ve thought about not saying a word about this. Why? Because here I am, working on helping you get motivated to get fit and create a healthy lifestyle, change your thoughts and live life at an optimum level, so how can I admit that I have a ton of stress and overwhelm in my life?

The Truth is I do!

I can certainly relate if you answered yes to any of the questions I asked in the beginning of this article. While I’m not having the problem of emotional eating right now after doing the Shrink Yourself program and I haven’t been feeling very depressed lately (I attribute much of that to getting back to eating whole, healthy foods and getting regular exercise – the chemicals in processed foods can really mess with your emotions and physiology), I still have a tremendous amount of stress, overwhelm, and anxiety in my daily life.

I have been feeling really overwhelmed with everything on my plate right now (figuratively, not saying I’m overeating 😉 ), and unless I make some changes now, the stress is going to cause me health problems and it can even be affecting my weight loss (more on that in a bit).

The other thing is that I am all about creating a healthy lifestyle in body, mind, and spirit, not only to lose weight but to keep it off, feel great with loads of energy, and live a high quality of life. But if I do not make changes to the way I deal with stress, which leads to anxiety and worries, which leads to depressing thoughts, then I’m not living that high quality of life that I desire.

Why I Didn’t Want To Bring This Up

I wasn’t going to share any of this with you because I didn’t want to appear to have a problem here, even though I’ve been more than willing to share my ups and downs with emotional eating, sugar addiction, and motivation. But you know what’s funny? I do not look at others who share that they have had anxiety and/or depression as having a problem because it’s simply a fact that anxiety and depression are the most common and prominent emotional disorders in the world today! Think I need to lighten up on myself? Yep, I sure do.

It’s Only a Big Deal if You Don’t Take Care of Yourself

There are so many people today that are talking about their struggles with anxiety and depression, in fact here’s a list of some rather famous people who have struggled with depression who have publicly shared their experiences with this emotional disorder. Just a few of the people on that list are Harrison Ford, Winston Churchill, Woody Allen, Jim Carrey, Sheryl Crow, Ashley Judd, Akira Kurosawa, JK Rowling, Sarah Silverman, Abraham Lincoln and Mozart. With company like this, why should I feel embarassed to share that I’m far from perfect and overly stressed, anxious, and have been depressed?

Check Out The Blogsphere for More Examples

There are also some fearless bloggers out there who have opened up and shared their own experience with anxiety and depression:

Ok, so with all of these examples, coupled with the fact that I don’t look at any of these people as being “defective” (so why should I think of myself any differently – yep, I need to lighten up on me! 😉 ), I decided that if by sharing my experiences with overcoming my overwhelm, stress, and anxiety (been depressed before, too!) and if by doing so I could help motivate just one other person (maybe you!) to take care of themselves and their own emotional disorders, then it would be worth it.

One other thing – did you notice how many men I listed in both lists above, especially in the list of famous people with depression? I did this on purpose because in general women talk about their emotions much more openly than men do. If you are a man I wanted to point out to you that there are many other men out there who have experienced anxiety and depression and you are not alone.

So What’s The Experiment This Time?

I used to hear these commercials on the radio all the time in the car, commercials for a free CD about stress and anxiety from the Midwest Center for Stress and Anxiety, maybe you’ve heard the same commercial, by Lucinda Bassett? Well I never did order the free CD although I thought I could probably benefit from it.

For over 6 months now I’ve had Lucinda Bassett’s Attacking Anxiety & Depression kit and guess what I’ve done with it? Not a whole lot. I told myself I had too many other things going on and that I really wasn’t depressed anyway, and at that time I actually was! Remember around Christmas time I had gotten back into my sugar addiction and sugar as well as those gunky processed foods really bring me down, not only physically but also emotionally.

I put Lucinda Bassett’s program in my closet and forgot about it and I ended up doing the emotional eating experiment on myself with the Shrink Yourself program that helped me tremendously with coping skills to replace emotional eating. If you haven’t caught onto this yet I’m intent on living a healthy lifestyle and I’m ready to take it to the next level – Shrink Yourself is an awesome program for your emotional eating and since I’ve worked on that, I’m ready to tackle my anxiety and stress, which will actually help me create an even healthier lifestyle.

I feel very overwhelmed, stressed, and anxious right now, which really is all brought on by myself. When I think about it, I’ve had anxiety pretty much my whole life, since I was a kid. Because of this almost two weeks ago (Saturday, June 28) I pulled my Attacking Anxiety & Depression kit out of my closet after I decided that I could not continue to live like this.

It’s not healthy, and I’m serious when I say that if you’re really ready to lose weight and keep it off that you need to maintain health and fitness not just in your body, but also in your mind, emotions, and spirit. Well if you’re living under tremendous stress all the time like I am right now, you’re not only going to affect your weight loss, but you’re wearing down your immune system and potentially opening yourself up to disease in the body. Stress and depression can even create inflammation in the physical body (saw that on Discovery Health with Dr. Oz) – not a healthy lifestyle for sure!

I’m In Week Two Now

I’m in week 2 of the 15-week course now and it’s already helping me so like I said, I decided to turn this into another experiment on myself and share my self-growth experience with you over the next 15 weeks. By presenting it as an experiment it helps me to stick with it because I’m no longer doing this only for my own self-improvement, but as a chronicle of my experience to possibly motivate you to take action, if you also are ready to release chronic stress, anxiety, and depression from your life.

One note: The Attacking Anxiety & Depression at-home program is the #1 non-pharmaceutical approach to healing anxiety and depression and has helped millions of people with these emotional disorders, however it is for those who have mild to moderate depression. If you suffer from clinical depression and have any thoughts of suicide please seek professional, in-person help immediately.

Additionally this program does not recommend you ever stop taking medications without consulting your doctor first although the eventual aim is for you to get off medications for anxiety or depression or greatly reduce them, all under your doctor’s care of course.

What Does This Have to do With Weight Loss?

There are even more reasons that I decided to share my experiences with Attacky Anxiety & Depression with you and those are because this strongly ties in with the topic of health, weight loss, and fitness:

  • CortisolCortisol is a hormone that is released in the body when it is under stress and if you are constantly in a state of “fight or flight”, which is how the body reacts when under steady, chronic stress and anxity, cortisol is being released. When the amount of cortisol is high in the bloodstream it can lead to abdominal weight gain and contribute to heart attack and stroke.
  • Sugar – This was so awesome when I learned this – part of the Attacking Anxiety & Depression 15-week at-home course involves getting off or greatly reducing refined sugar! Refined sugar contributes to stress and anxiety, isn’t that somethin’? 😉 I sure know that I feel a TON better when I’m not on sugar like I’ve been living for the past few weeks. I know you’ve heard me say this over and over again but now I’ve got even more proof than I had before.
  • Caffeine – Caffeine is also to be eliminated or greatly reduced, preferably eliminated. I rarely drink coffee anymore but when I have I’d had times when my heart raced from it, a symptom of panic attacks. Right now I drink tea and this will be my biggest challenge, reducing my tea.
  • Exercise – Another one that’s not a surprise but is another motivator to get moving. I’ve shared with you before how great I feel after exercising and the Attacking Anxiety & Depression program includes exercise as a part of a healthy regime to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.
  • Changing Your Thoughts – Another topic that is right up my alley, and something I’ve shared often here at Fearless Fat Loss. This course utilizes cognitive behavioral therapy, which focuses on changing behavioral patterns that reinforce your current negative thinking patterns. When you are ready to lose weight if you get your mind on the right track you’re virtually unstoppable. 😉
  • Depression and emotional eating – If you’re an emotional eater and you haven’t learned new life coping skills through Shrink Yourself or other means yet and you’re depressed then you’re probably overeating. You might even feel depressed because you’re overweight and then you eat for that reason, which doesn’t help you lose weight – it’s a vicious cycle I understand because I’ve been there before. I’ve also met so many people who struggle with weight loss who are depressed (many are on medication for it) and in my most recent poll your votes show that depression has remained in the top 3 out of 12 reasons for sapping your weight loss motivation.
  • Relaxation – A key component of the Attacking Anxiety & Depression program is learning to relax and making yourself your safe person instead of looking to someone or someplace outside of you. It is healthy to learn how to relax your body and your mind and this will contribute to your overall well-being, which in turn will help you to release the need to overeat.

An Overview

Today’s post is an overview to introduce you to my new experiment, and I’ve even got a great example of one of the personality traits of people who tend towards chronic, daily stress, anxiety, and depression. That trait is having unrealistic expectations of yourself and others – perfectionism falls into that category.

The example I have for you is that yesterday I wrote in my post that I’d be writing 2 post for you today – well that’s a great example of my high expectations, and what I’ll be doing instead is bringing you the 2nd post tomorrow. This post here took me longer to write than I expected, maybe because I was still resisting posting this! Yeah, I know, now you know that I’m not perfect (LOL).

Stay Tuned for my first update tomorrow. I’ll also be listing a link to each week’s update here in this post.

15-Week Series